Robert Pedersen embarked on an ambitious mission in2007: to create a centralized and standardized nationwide system ofdepository services at the financially struggling U.S. PostalService, where he serves as treasurer. Pedersen aimed to take ahighly fragmented organization and centralize operations under thetreasury department. In the process, he figured he'd boostefficiencies and cut some costs.

But even Pedersen, who started at the Postal Service in 1983 asan investment officer and was named treasurer in 2002, waspleasantly surprised by the outcome. After the system wasimplemented in February 2009, he slashed fees by 11%, saving about$3 million a year. He also reduced the number of employeesresponsible for reviewing account analysis statements and payingbank loans to two from 80. And he dramatically cut the number ofpeople and amount of time needed to do research and reporting.

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